Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Beyond marginality: exploring black women’s labour market participation in the Greater Vancouver Regional District

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

What have Black women’s labour market experiences been in the Greater Vancouver Regional District? How have education, family, and systemic barriers been perceived by and impacted Black women in the labour market? Utilizing qualitative methodological techniques, primarily open-ended interviewing, and centred in critical Black feminist and endarkened feminist epistemological approaches, as well as anti-racist or critical race theory, I explore these important questions. Historically and currently marginalized, this thesis puts Black women’s experience at the forefront of investigation and provides an opportunity for five women to voice their knowledge, thoughts, and observations on employment in British Columbia. Findings suggest that while some view the educational system as unsupportive and alienating for Blacks, it is ultimately deemed important for labour market success. The results also reveal a pronounced focus on personal rather than systemic barriers to success, and stress the value of family and other support networks in fostering individual empowerment.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
H
Department: 
Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Beyond skin deep: An Exploration of female-to-male transgender embodiment and exploring Vancouver's queer and transgender youth organizations

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Essay 1: Beyond Skin Deep explores a specific subculture of female-to-male (FTM) transgender individuals who use tattoos as a method of expressing identity. By accessing this contemporary subculture of FTMs from a combination of autobiographic self-reflections and an analysis of the XXBoys photography project, this paper demonstrates how a subculture of tattooed FTM bodies challenge particular assumptions about the body that have been understood in previous representations of the transsexual body. Essay 2: Youth Organizations evaluates the current resources for queer and trans (QT) youth in Vancouver. By engaging in a close textual analysis of the commitments and services provided online by two main organizations within Vancouver, I argue that programs for QT supportive organizations are not being implemented to their full potential. The paper builds this argument on the basis of interviews with volunteers of these programs, as well as QT youth who have use the services in Vancouver.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
H
Department: 
Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Essays (M.A.)

Border-Crossing: The Transnational Activism of Women in an Era of Globalization

Author: 
Date created: 
2003
Abstract: 

The importance of women's transnational activism, or activism beyond national borders, has become increasingly relevant as the gendered impact of globalization intensifies. By focusing on the way that globalization affects women's lives, this thesis illuminates the contradictory and complex nature of global processes. An investigation of social movement theory and the "global women's movement" serves to provide the framework for the conditions under which the organizations in this study engage in activism. Employing institutional ethnography, this study highlights the transnational activism of the Maquila Solidarity Network (Toronto, Ontario) and the Philippine Women Centre (Vancouver, British Columbia) within the context of globalization and the processes of social, political and economic restructuring occurring throughout the world. The four women interviewed in this thesis shed light on the dynamics of organizing transnationally and illustrate how the activities of the Maquila Solidarity Network and Philippine Women Centre engage women to resist, challenge and shape processes of globalization. My findings demonstrate that through transnational exchanges and by building alliances, women are questioning the authority and inevitability of globalization. By enacting individual and collective agency at the local, national and global levels, diverse women are mobilizing and acting to address processes of globalization in an effort for positive change.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Dept. of Women's Studies) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

A post-colonial reading of Vaisakhi: unveiling the Indo-Canadian Sikh identity through Canadian media

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

In this paper, I explore the ways in which concerns over nation and race have shaped “Canadian identity”. I read a range of texts of mainstream Canadian news representations of the Indo-Canadian Sikh community from the early 20th century to 2007. I focus specifically on the cultural celebration of Vaisakhi, a festival to commemorate the Northern Indian (Punjabi) New Year and harvest as well as to celebrate the formal anniversary of the Sikh faith. On the streets of Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, Vaisakhi is celebrated as a walk through designated areas where the Indo-Canadian Sikh community hosts the wider community with complementary food, beverages and entertainment. This paper draws on Canadian news narratives around the Indo-Canadian community and the very public celebration of Vaisakhi. Applying a post-colonial critique to the past and present mainstream Canadian news reveals the persistence of colonial ideology in contemporary Canadian culture.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
C
Department: 
Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Betty lambert's plays for children: A feminist approach to theatre for young audiences

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

English Canadian playwright, Betty Lambert, the focus of this thesis, started writing children’s plays in the 1960’s. These plays reflect her feminist ideals that became prominent in her later work, such as in her best-known play, Jennie’s Story. Analyzing Lambert’s The Riddle Machine and Song of the Serpent, the relationship between feminism and theatre for young audiences can be discerned by looking at methods of realism, moral education and gender, and “empowerment through the idea of ‘Truth.’” These are explored using a combination of Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal’s writings on theatre, Dorothy Heathcote’s ideas on drama and education, and Lawrence Kohlberg and Carole Gilligan’s theories of ‘moral education.’ Using analysis of Lambert’s children’s plays, my thesis proves the importance of provoking a feminist consciousness from a young age to disrupt gender stereotypes and inspire children to pursue their goals. I speculate on how Lambert’s plays can inform contemporary theatre.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
J
Department: 
Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Tuition rebates and the teaching support staff union: An examination of the textual coordination of university bargaining

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

For the past decade unionized teaching assistants in Canada have secured tuition rebates through collective bargaining. Graduate student bargaining is rooted in public sector regulation, social organization, and state formation. I examine how ruling relations coordinate teaching assistants’ inability to secure a tuition waiver in the negotiation of the Teaching Support Staff Union’s latest contract which is dated from 2004-2010. In this thesis, I examine two texts that were influential in bargaining. First, I look at a Labour Relations Board decision over a TA strike at the University of British Columbia. Second, I will examine a leaked document from the Public Sector Employer’s Council dictating the bargain process to the University. Dorothy Smith’s “Institutional Ethnography” and “Mapping the Social Relations of Struggle” as methods of inquiry allow me to see how texts are coordinated in University bargaining and what teaching assistants can do to resist them.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
C
Department: 
Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Selling the menopausal body: A critical analysis of physician targeted HRT advertising -AND- Community-university co-operative model case study: A reflexive and exploratory look at one CBR experience

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Selling the Menopausal Body: Over time, what role has physician targeted, North America, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) advertising played in the medicalization of menopause? How have these ads constructed HRT knowledge for physicians and women? Employing close textual analysis, I examine several decades of medical journal HRT advertising and place this analysis within existing critical feminist critiques of HRT. I show how these ads systematically and negatively portray women, their bodies and menopause. Community-University Co-operative Model Case Study: Can university involved community-based research (CBR) be useful to communities? To what degree can individuals from universities participate in CBR? From a critical perspective, challenging existing models and the current state of university-centred CBR, I present a detailed case study of a community-university collaborative CBR project, Three Days in the Fire Pit, arguing a strong case for a model that successfully navigates CBR and avoids university control.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
C
Department: 
Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Essays (M.A.)

Reading GAM in craigslist personal ads: Constructing gay Asian males during the negotiation of anal intercourse -and- Remembering spatially: Refocussing the history of Vancouver's gay community

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

The identity “gay Asian male” (GAM) is proposed and contested in online personal ads, where ethnicity and other visible traits are used to describe individuals as attractive suitors and request or refuse potential partners. This paper explores the relationship between identity and desire, focusing on representations of GAM in craigslist ads, a site where men seek men for sexual encounters. In particular, it considers GAM as constructed by cultural meanings derived from characteristics set by HIV/AIDS prevention literature. Existing historical geographies of gay communities in North America, including local media representations of Vancouver’s gay community, follow an identity politics metanarrative of gay liberation and subculture formation. This paper challenges this metanarrative, reframing Vancouver’s gay community’s formation by considering real estate events, key community relationships—highlighted in 1981, and nostalgic memory. The interaction of these components contributes to the maintenance of the community’s political visibility and concentration along Vancouver’s Davie Street.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
C
Department: 
Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Essays (M.A.)